Monday, March 06, 2006


Pushed by circumstance and the state of my wardrobe, on Sunday I indulged in one of the activities I most loathe: clothes shopping. At least I didn’t have to make a pilgrimage of it, as my house is not far from Oxford Street, the place to go for shopping. I was planning to buy one, maybe two, pairs of "business casual" trousers, and I told myself beforehand that I did not want to spend more than £150/£170. It was the first time I was doing this in London (and guess what: in 1½ years I have never bought any clothes in Brussels, though I did go shopping on rare occasions while visiting my parents in Milan) so I was a little apprehensive about what to expect, both in terms of what would be on offer and how expensive it would be. As a result of my ignorance I started out going by name recognition.
My first stop was Selfridges, which is one of the most famous department stores in the world. It was appalling. I did not see a single item I would even remotely consider buying: everything was fashionable and nothing was elegant. Already bored, but still determined to come away with something, I went into the Marks & Spencer next door, which to my surprise proved to be much more to my taste. After (seemingly?) endless browsing and trying on ill-fitting trousers, I ended up getting a pair of pure cotton chinos for £15 and a pair of blue jeans for, I kid you not, £9. So much for London being exorbitantly expensive. As much as I hate crowds, on my way home I couldn't help having that giddy feeling that I had gotten a great deal. I wonder how long it will take for the trousers to fall apart...

No comments: